The site is in the greenfield area in the Northwest Burke area, City of Coquitlam, and is within the traditional territory of the Kwikwetlem and Katzie First Nations. In this scenario, the site is referred to as the ‘Harper-Conifer Wedge.’ The land was recently purchased by Wesbild Holdings Ltd. from the Province. It is within the Hyde Creek Watershed at the southwest edge of Pine Cone Burke Provincial Park, an under-developed park with sanctioned/unsanctioned trails heavily used by hikers and bikers. The Northwest Burke Vision area is bordered by the following neighbourhoods: Upper Hyde Creek, Smiling Creek and Partington Creek.
Students were tasked with providing a conceptual design and plan for a new subdivision in the ‘Harper-Conifer Wedge’ at the edge of significant wild spaces. The design may focus on different scales (e.g. building scale, lot scale, subdivision scale), but should consider connectivity and place within the greater neighbourhood networks. Market analysis for Northwest Burke suggests upwards of 70% of new homes will be townhomes (12-14 units per acre) and the remaining would be single family home lots at 5-6 units per acre (UPA). The ‘Harper-Conifer Wedge’ is part of the Northwest Burke Vision: a 400-ha area that has the potential to house ~6,500-16,000 people depending on the development intensity. For instance, current planning outlines low, mid and upper ranges of development depending on the amount of area removed for steep slopes and protection of other environmental factors such as streams & rivers.
Students spent valuable time consulting with Vicki Haberl, Planning Section Head at BC Parks South Coast Region, and Margaret Birch (B.Sc., R.P.Bio), Environmental Services Coordinator at the City of Coquitlam. Students discussed site plans based on what would be feasible and appropriate within the larger area (given historical and future potential ecological and cultural values) and what risks and economic factors needed to be considered. Design considerations included storm water management, wildfire mitigation, wind firm trees, wildlife corridors and human-wildlife conflict management, among others. Each team received resources and support for equipment and media such as Digital GIS Data, Reports & Maps, and Computer Lab and Technical Support. They were also provided compensation for travel and catered meals were brought to the field.
Awards Gala Presentations
The final neighbourhood plan proposal was presented to a panel of judges in the form of a 15- to 20-minute oral presentation. Students were evaluated based on innovation and creativity, feasibility, and synergy of team skills. Presentations were held at the Awards Night Gala at Minnekhada Lodge where catered appetizers and an ornate dinner was served.